Marci Zaroff has had a string of startup successes. She has raised, launched, grown, and sold a variety of brands that enable us to live the change, eat the change, drink the change, be the change, and wear the change that we all wish to see in the world. Her venture Good Catch raised funding from top-tier investors like Big Idea Ventures, Clear Current Capital, Louis Dreyfus Company, and Unovis Asset Management. Marci has now moved on to her next startup, Eco Fashion Corp. This company has attracted funding from FasterCapital.
In this episode you will learn:
- How Marci brings together the 5 Ps of People, Planet, Profit, Passion, and Purpose
- How she interviews and finds matches in investors, vendors, and executive hires
- Building companies with fractional executives
- Her top advice when launching a company
For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Here is the content that we will cover in this post. Let’s get started.
- 1. Venture Investing
- 2. Acquiring Companies
- 3. If You Can’t Beat Them, Own Them
- 4. Big Acquirers
- 5. Who or What are the Big Five?
- 6. Microsoft
- 7. Google
- 8. Amazon
- 9. Metar
- 10. Apple
- 11. Unilever
- 12. Coca-Cola
- 13. Walmart
- 14. Cisco
- 15. PayPal
- 16. Staying the Big Fish in the Pond
- 17. Creating and expanding their reach
- 18. Changing Strategies
About Marci Zaroff:
Marci Zaroff coined and trademarked the term “ECOfashion” in 1995 and is an ECOlifestyle entrepreneur, educator, and innovatora. She believes that Millennials are ““driving the rapidly growing movement for sustainable and ethical fashion.” Zaroff is an RSA Fellow and a Henry Crown Fellow of The Aspen Institute.
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Connect with Marci Zaroff:
Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro: Alrighty. Hello everyone, and welcome to the DealMakers show. It’s super exciting today, the guest that we have. She has been there, done it, done the full cycle, you name it. I think we’re going to be learning quite a bit—a powerhouse! So without further ado, let’s welcome our guest today. Marci Zaroff, welcome to the show.
Marci Zaroff: Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here and share our journeys together.
Alejandro: Let’s do a little bit of a walk through memory lane, Marci. You were born in Philadelphia, but then you moved quite a bit, so tell us about your upbringing.
Marci Zaroff: Yeah, it’s a funny full circle because I’m actually in Pennsylvania right now. Just unexpectedly, my husband brought me back here during COVID. But I grew up in Florida. I always joke that my background in sustainable fashion is like our best-dressed in high school, which you can’t say much when you’re in Florida. I always had a passion from the time I was in my early teens about health and wellness and the environment. My girlfriend gave me a book when I was 16 called Living in the Light, by Shakti Gawain. I read it, and I soaked it up, and it had this aha moment that there’s more than what we see. That set me off on my life work and my journey over the last 30-plus years. I went to school in California. Of course, I was drawn to Berkeley. I got a degree in finance and marketing from Haas Business School. Because of my passion around health and wellness, I was actually cooking organic and natural foods and big lunches for people that I was working with. That moment or that question that people often ask me, “What’s that thing that people don’t see on your LinkedIn?” I actually got my investment banking licenses very young. During the time that I was at Haas, I was also working as an investment banker in San Francisco. So I got my feet wet in business, but also, I was the kid with the lemonade stand, so I was always thinking of my next business idea. In 1990, I moved to New York, and I created my first official business, not including all the culinary businesses and all the things I did growing up. My first official business, which today, is known as the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. It started out of my apartment, basically to take people on this journey of health, wellness, self-realization, and discovery. That school just sold to NEP firm a couple of years ago for a lot of money. This school has now certified over 170,000 people in 150 countries around the world as health coaches. So that got me deep in the trenches of education. Through that process, I met the founder of Aveda. I had already been exposed to Aveda as a brand and was really drawn to it and inspired by it, this idea that this beautiful brand, you get drawn into. Then, you start to read the packaging, and it’s like plant-based wisdom, ancient indigenous cultures, the healing power of plants. It really struck a deep chord in me. I loved Aveda. When I met the founder, we became fast friends. He ended up being my mentor of over 25 years. I got married in his house and spoke at his funeral when he passed away. He wrote the forward to my book. He was an amazing, iconic leader that I mirrored in certain ways when I coined and trademarked the name Ecofashion, in 1995; it was really to try to emulate in some ways what Horst was doing on the personal care side with Aveda. I started the first sustainable fashion and home brand in North America called Under the Canopy with this premise that we all live under the canopy of the planet’s ecosystem together. It was always about connecting the dots from food to beauty to fashion and fiber, my whole last 30 years life’s work. Over the course of the last 25-plus years focusing on fashion and textiles, I have started a number of companies and been involved in a number of initiatives, served on boards, and written standards like Goth and Fair Trade and Cradle, Cradle Positive. I was involved in launching. Today, fast-forward, 30 years in the making, I am the founder and CEO of ECOfashion Corp. We call ourselves the Greenhouse of Brands because I’m a soil junky and everything really starts at the DNA and the style with soul at what we share and across all of our brands, which is the power of fashion to transform the world. It’s such a powerful vehicle. We have five of our own sub-brands under ECOfashion Corp. MetaWear, which is the engine of our whole company. It is the manufacturing platform that I’ve spent all of these decades building in India with a team on the ground there, with a general manager running our office there. India has been my happy place for most of my life, going there and building supply chains. Then we have two brands that live exclusively on QVC, where I get to go on air and meet the mass-market consumer where they are and help, activate, educate, and inspire them around why it does make a difference to buy fashion that has purpose embedded into it. Then we have a direct-to-consumer brand called Yes And, which is at joinyesand.com. That is really the embodiment of my life’s work in terms of the mantra of what I do and why I do it. Yes And is all about no compromise. We can give people everything they want. That’s the Yes. The And is the: oh, by the way, it can also be socially and environmentally responsible. It’s not one or the other. So I’ve taken that philosophy and embedded it into everything that I’ve done throughout the course of my career.
Alejandro: It sounds like through the course of your career, too, there’s one word that comes to mind, and that is consciousness, the way that you’re bringing consciousness at anything that you do. How did you get the drive or what are the origins of putting consciousness on everything that you do?
Marci Zaroff: Going back to when I read that book, Living in the Light, it activated my own light. The lifeline to truth in my opinion is our gut, and when you listen to your gut, when you trust your gut, when you have that sort of aha, it’s not the head that’s speaking; it’s the heart; it’s the vibration within, and it really does start with the light, which is the source. When you start to think metaphorically about source, where everything starts, where all of the answers are. Then you can start to find that sort of “Oh, it’s on the food.” The farm-to-table movement. Like, what’s in my food because it starts there. Remember, everything we put in, on, and around us is an extension of who we are. We are made of energy. Everything is made of energy, so when you start to think about the source, what kind of energy do you want to put in, on, and around you was the catalyst for me as I started to think about first, food, which in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is our first basic need. What we put in our bodies—the Hypocritic Oath: let food be thy medicine because it can heal us if we understand how to work with food in an intelligent way. That’s when I met Horst, and the connection to beauty, and understand that beauty starts within. Again, going to the source of our beauty products, which today, look at CVS and Walgreen’s, they’re lining their shelves with clean beauty. But back in the day, it was this novel idea, but it made so much sense to me always. Having consciousness infused into products was not, to me, an if; it was always a when. When are people going to understand that we don’t have to put poison in and on us, our bodies if we choose not to? Every moment is a choice. As Albert Einstein once said, “We can’t solve today’s problems with the same consciousness that created those problems.” So we have to climb the ladder of consciousness and think about how do we shift the paradigm of the industries that are no longer serving us starting with food, and again, as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, evolving into shelter and clothing. That’s why I had that aha into clothing and home textiles. That it’s not just what we put in our bodies that matter; it’s what we put on our bodies because the skin is our largest organ. It’s our primary organ for absorption, and another metaphor that really sunk into me in a very deep way was the soil and the ecosystems of our planet, which are also there to serve us when their own inherent immune systems are strong. So when you start to think about source, from the standpoint of our lands and ocean ecosystems that are the origins of many of the products that we buy, and you start to think about turning on the light within us, and we’re living in this modern-day Star Wars where the dark and the light forces are at odds, but we have to turn on the light because we want to create or design a better future for all of us. We all need to be at the table. We need to vote with our dollars. We need to collaborate in business. It’s not about competition, it’s about coopetition because we’re all facing the same potential endgame here. So business as usual can’t continue. When you talk about consciousness in business, to me, it is the next chapter of business. Good business is no longer just about the bottom-line. It’s about people, planet, profit, passion, and purpose.
Alejandro: I love that. Your career as an entrepreneur is very extensive. What I like to do is kind of like a walk through memory lane, name the company that you founded, basically for you to tell our listeners and the people that are following the conversation what the business model was and, more importantly, what was your lesson out of the business. So why don’t we start with the first one that you were alluding to that you started out of your apartment, and that was Institute for Integrative Nutrition. What was the business model, and what was your lesson learned from that one?
Marci Zaroff: The model was to create a sense of community around the natural and organic health movement back in the beginning of the movement when people were seeking information, but the internet wasn’t really a thing yet. So how do you learn the most important thing that we all have, which is our health. You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have your health, then your life is going to be very different. It’s people coming and seeking that guidance. The certification program was the bread and butter of the school. What I learned through that, while all the other elements, the organic café, and the community events that we did, and the magazine that we published called Macrocosm, these were all external support systems or forces that drove the certification program. I think going into it that wasn’t the idea. One of my greatest learnings, which I’ve taken with me all the way to this day is whatever you think is going to happen in business, it’s not going to happen that way. Put your seatbelt on, be willing to pivot, don’t try to force square pegs into round holes, enjoy the ride, and allow the energy to flow. So when you feel like getting stuck, because energy just wants to flow, the law of physics, then don’t force it. Find your way to just pivot, and that’s part of the journey of being in business. That took me to my next chapter because I never thought I’d see the day that I wasn’t going to be at the forefront driving IIN, and ironically, I have collaborated with IIN recently, so it’s like a full circle, which is really fun for me with the new CEO. We’ve done a bunch of webinars and whatnot. The next business was really born because it was this natural evolution where within the school, we had an Aveda concept salon because I had already met the founder of Aveda. We had already discovered the power of collaboration that I could educate at the Aveda Institutes. He could educate at our school. We could have a spa that taught people about the in and on their bodies, and that interconnection and that relationship from agriculture to popular culture. I had this really fun opportunity in that timeframe around 1994 to consult with some members of the Saudi Arabian royal family on some health-related concerns, whether it was trying to get pregnant, and then ultimately, someone else wanted to lose weight, and somebody else it was for their skin. As I was consulting with these princesses, we would go shopping on Fifth Avenue, and I was a fashion consumer, and I had already had that aha that caught in other crops are all growing hand-in-hand in agriculture. So I had already been exposed to the mindset of “Hum. I love fashion. Cotton is one-third of the world’s textiles. How come nobody is talking about this?” Then we were shopping one day, and these princesses were like, “Hey, you’ve turned us onto organic and natural foods and beauty products.” We even worked on a wellness center in Reid, and it was like, “What about fashion?” I said, “I’ve been thinking about it. If I roll my sleeves up and I do this, will you support it?” They said, “Yes.” So that became, in some ways, the catalyst for me to just say, “I was also giving birth to my first child at the time,” so it was a lot of change in my life. I sold the school in the late ‘90s to my partner. During that transition, from the school, I morphed into starting my first sustainable fashion and home brand, which was called Under the Canopy, and I started it from home and started it as a mail-order catalog back in the day before there was direct-to-consumer through the internet, and I started telling stories, which was the fun of having a catalog because brick and mortar retail was very challenging to tell a story that had any kind of substance behind it because you’ve got ten seconds to win over the customer when they would walk by on the shelf. How do you possibly tell the story of the who, what, when, where, why, and the source story? Having a catalog was so powerful because—I go back, and I pull out the catalog from 25 years ago, and I’m still telling those same stories about why organic cotton, why [16:46], why recycle poly, why these fibers matter, ethical manufacturing, getting to know your farmers and your workers. It’s like the same story, but it just keeps evolving. It’s the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m a walking cliche that what doesn’t kill you makes you smarter and stronger. But Under the Canopy set me on that path, on the trajectory. In 1999, I had this amazing opportunity where the president of Whole Foods and who became co-CEO came to me. I knew him through the Natural Products Industry. A lot of my investors in Under the Canopy were leaders of the organic and natural food and beauty world. Whether it was Michael Funk who founded United Natural Foods, or Mark Retzloff who founded Horizon Organic Dairy, or people on my board, advisors from Force to Jeff Hollender, who founded Seventh Generation. I had a rock star group of people around me who propelled me to really own this space of textiles. When Walter Robb came to me, he said, “I’m going to give you the opportunity of a lifetime. Whole Foods is going to go from being the small footprint health food stores, these 30,000 sq. ft. stores to 100,000 sq. ft. mega stores. It’s going to become a lifestyle store mirroring the Targets and the Walmarts of the world, but all organic and natural. How about if we give you 2,000 sq. ft. and you do whatever you think can bring it to life?” So I wrote the business plan for Whole Foods to go from food to fiber. I merchandized the entire assortment and laid out the whole floor plan, signage, manikins, photos, and the dressing room. Why was it every single launch, we launched in every megastore that Whole Foods opened, and we were in retrofit into every existing Whole Foods. So that was a really exciting ride for me because I was bringing my two worlds together, my food world and my fashion and fiber textile world. That put this category on the map of Ecofashion or Sustainable Fashion. That’s when we started to get seen by a lot of other retailers. Suddenly, I found myself in c-suites and executive suites of Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, and all these other retailers spearheading first-time launches of this category, and then fast-forward, so much more from there.
Alejandro: Nice. That was actually a 22-year journey, so quite a marathon.
Marci Zaroff: And so much more woven into that tapestry of my ride. That’s part of the fun of being an entrepreneur. I’m always learning; I’m always growing. As I continue to see where things are coming next, as more people come into what I’m doing, I’m on to the next thing. So I’m already thinking about what’s next in sustainable fashion, lifestyle, and home. There’s so much opportunity, and I never see challenges as roadblocks. I’ve always seen them as my greatest opportunities to learn and grow. That’s where it forces to stop and say, “As long as you stay nimble; as long as you stay agile, you can keep growing and getting better every step of the way.”
Alejandro: So BeyondBrands is your next baby. What was the business model there, and the lesson learned?
Marci Zaroff: With Under the Canopy, I had an accident in 2009, and I started doing writing, a lot more public speaking, and consulting. My husband, who I met also through the natural product industry, he’s an organic beverage supplement entrepreneur and leader. He was doing consulting as well. So we decided to bring our worlds together and start BeyondBrands as a conscious consulting agency built on this foundation of the lifestyle food, beverage, beauty, fashion, supplements, cannabis and other plant-based plant medicine, therapeutics, and other lifestyle products. We curated who we believed were the top people in the industry who had also had exits like we did in other things and who could take on the different verticals. Coming together, like my whole philosophy of 1+1=11 because we’re stronger together than we are apart. I think we all discovered rather than having our own individual practices coming together would make us much stronger as a holistic entity, which is what we did, and we attracted the likes of not only building an accelerator and partnership with another accelerator called SKU, so we now have BeyondSKU, which is helping many young entrepreneurial brands to get their feet into this movement of natural health and wellness leveraging our collective expertise. But we also create brands with either founders who have an idea or even investors who have an idea, and they want a company to build it. Within BeyondBrands, during the course of those years before I came back to my Ecofashion roots full-steam, we launched a number of brands including Good Catch, which is the first plant-based seafood brand like the Beyond Meat seafood. So I was the CMO of Good Catch and one of the co-founders, and helped get it going and get it built in terms of the whole foundation and framework. Fortunately, my husband and I had an exit of Good Catch into 2019, which was very exciting. The company is going strong now.
Alejandro: You also raised money there because that was like the first time that you thought about capitalizing a company like that. So why did you take that route with Good Catch.
Marci Zaroff: Fortunately, the way Good Catch came to be was we were approached by a private equity fund who had a similar idea as we had had internally. We had been exposed to—I’m vegan and our food vertical, that’s all we do is plant-based. When we were thinking about, “This is a white space, this whole seafood category.” At that same moment in time, it was very synchronistic. This private equity firm said, “We’re looking to invest in a plant-base protein that really addresses the seafood space, and nobody’s doing it. It was the right moment in time for us to come together. So it was founded by BeyondBrands and this company, New Crop Capital. Eric, my husband, and I always knew that it wasn’t a permanent thing for us. We were going to get it going and then sell it off. That was always part of the way we created the business model. It was an outsourced executive model. None of us were full-time. It was the BeyondBrands team in fractional CFO, fractional CEO, and we knew that once real money came in the door—we got it all the way through Series A, which was almost $9 million, and then we kept it going all the way until Series B, and then we exited where all of the people that were hired in were going to be full-time dedicated to Good Catch. That was never where I wanted to be or my husband. That’s why we exited.
Alejandro: Going back to the consciousness work, that keeps coming back to me, when you are thinking about doing dealmaking, and especially with that drive, with that vision, with that way of seeing things, how do you go about, as well, when it comes to alignment with investors or employees, so that they are able to see things the same way that you’re seeing them?
Marci Zaroff: Yeah. Great question. When I interview, I am very tuned into what people say, how they say it, what they’re looking for. For example, I’m interviewing for a CFO right now, and it’s unusual to find a CFO who is going to have passion about the kind of work that we do, but I’m listening to the questions they’re asking or the things they’re saying during these interviews, and I’m drawn to those who share my core values because I know in having watched how Whole Foods became the success that it did or Aveda became the success that it did, and these were two companies that always were role-model companies for me. Even when I launched Under the Canopy, they were my first two wholesale customers because we shared core values. That endorsement really was this amazing pivotal juncture for Under the Canopy, where when I got that seal of approval from them, it set us on our way. I do the same thing with employees, with investors. I look for impact investors. Right now, we’ve done for Ecofashion Corp, it’s only two years in business. I’ve done two bridge rounds so far, raised over $2 million in just bridge notes so far. I’m about to kick off a Series A fundraise. But all of my bridge investors, in some way or another, whether they’re foundations, institutions, some philanthropists, they are sharing our values in some way or another and including, one of our funds is called the Save Earth Fund. That’s run by Chris Blair and Jim Cameron is involved in that. It’s about doing well by doing good in the world, and I don’t want investors who are just wanting to cut corners and get the cheapest, fastest. That’s not our mentality, and that’s certainly not what I’m signed up for in my career. So whether it’s vendors that I’m interviewing or meeting with to work with in our MetaWear platform, or people on my team, whether it’s India or the U.S., I take it very seriously when there is that shared value system because I think that is the key that unlocks collective success when you have that win-win. How do we win together? How do we ultimately swim in the same direction? And, to your point, how do we align our personal and professional values to make sure we’re in balance as we forge ahead?
Alejandro: Obviously, this takes us to your latest company, your latest baby, and that is Ecofashion Corp. When it comes to Ecofashion Corp., how did the idea come to you, and how did you go about identifying that was an idea because, obviously, once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur, and Marci, you strike me as someone that is always coming up with really good stuff. When this came to you, at what moment did you realize, “I need to go after this?”
Marci Zaroff: I started MetaWear while I was still consulting for Good Catch and Under the Canopy. I started it because it fell into my lap. People know that I’ve spent my career building supply chains around organic and sustainable textiles. Suddenly the world started to wake up, and people were saying out of the food or beauty industries, “Hey, Marci, can you make us tee-shirts for this event?” Uniforms for tradeshows, giveaways, campaigns. So whether it was Clif Bar, Garden of Life, Dr. Bronner’s, or companies in other industries that were coming to me. So I started, “How do I do this, too, on the side and support my friends across all of these industries to get them what they want because I know I’m going to do it right. I’m going to make sure that if they’re an organic brand, whether it’s food, beauty, fiber, environmental group, whatever it is that I can deliver them a turnkey solution. So it started very organically while I was doing these other businesses, and I was in partnership with a factory in the U.S. where I was holding blanks and supporting these programs. But what started happening is larger companies started saying, “You’re doing tee-shirts. What about hoodies, leggings, dresses, jackets, etc.” Suddenly, I’m like, “Wait a minute. There is a real need for that to make sustainability easy because the truth is, the complexities of navigating supply chains in the textile category where a garment can change hands seven to ten times. It’s not like a food product where you pick it off of the tree and you eat it. It’s a very different process. With cotton alone, you have to harvest the cotton, gin it, spin it, and there are many different layers of spinning. Then you have to knit it or weave it, depending on if it’s going to be a knit or woven. Then you have to cut, sew, dye, print, finish, wash, package. There are so many layers, and many more within there of the finishing, embroidery, screen printing, and blah, blah, blah. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you haven’t done it, you are definitely vulnerable to missteps. I think companies started to realize, “Uh oh, this isn’t about staying ahead anymore. It’s about not being left behind. Being in sustainable textiles, we have to be thinking about social and environmental accountability, and that momentum has been growing especially through the pandemic. It is like game-on right now. What was happening was, I was getting more and more inquiries, but I couldn’t scale the current model that I had in Virginia because the factory wasn’t equipped at scale. That, then, was the catalyst that said, “I need to pivot back to India where I had built all of my supply chains for Under the Canopy, and I went to India for several weeks, reunited multiple supply chains, got a GM who was my former GM of Under the Canopy back on board. We opened an office. He started building a team. So MetaWear was really the first of the brands within Ecofashion Corp because it really is the intel inside. It’s the business model that is a platform that can service all brands and retailers with private label, customized manufacturing, like buildable. What stories do you want to tell? What products do you want to make? What price points are you trying to hit? What brand are you looking to do? Then we build a manager supply chain, my team in India, and that includes quality control, inspections, sustainability from the certification standpoint, managing every touchpoint, and now we even recently launched Blockchain technology. So all the way to a QR code on your product, we can tell the story, not just of the journey of the product, but who is making it, how it’s being made, what’s in it, what are the inputs, where did the cotton come from, meet the farmer, meet the factory workers, women’s empowerment, carbon mapping, innovation on fibers like 0Banana. We’re doing all kinds of really cool things at MetaWear. So all the other brands that we have were born out of MetaWear. They really are MetaWear brands.
Alejandro: Let me ask you this. Imagine you go to sleep tonight, and you wake up in a world where the vision of Ecofashion Corp is fully realized. What does that world look like?
Marci Zaroff: People have asked me this since I started my career, like what is my meta vision. I always say, “To make the norm the alternative and the alternative the norm.” So when sustainable fashion that’s made ethically that is part of the circular, regenerative, sustainable world, it’s not just about doing less harm, but it’s about doing more good, leveraging the power of fashion. And not just fashion, because as you might see from my book, I still, obviously, am very passionate about food and beauty and all these other sectors. But it’s taking consumer products and giving people the ability to go with their dollars, to choose better so that we can make the norm the alternative and the alternative the norm, where it’s not about why would you buy organic or sustainable food, beauty and fashion. It’s why wouldn’t you?
Alejandro: I love it.
Marci Zaroff: To me, that is the future because the younger generations get it. They can pull the curtain back. They can ask the questions. They can unveil the human and environmental impacts of the products that they’re buying, the companies and brands they’re supporting and choosing. So, I think, that accountability is only going to continue to grow, especially with the growth of the Bee Corps, and Special Purpose Corps, and more and more companies looking at governance through a different lens.
Alejandro: Yeah, absolutely. Now, one of the questions I typically ask the guests that come on the show is, imagine I take you into a time machine, Marci, and I take you back in time to that moment where you were in your apartment in New York City figuring out and just coming out of UC Berkeley and doing your Master’s, and you’re thinking about the world and launching a company. If you were able to be right there with that younger Marci, and you could give that younger Marci one piece of business advice before launching a company, what would that be and why, given what you know now?
Marci Zaroff: You asked me earlier about investors. I would just say this, especially as a woman in business. It think, fortunately, the young women of today who are starting businesses have the support of the MeToo Movement, the opportunity to make sure that there’s an accountability there. I think, for me, I was probably a little naïve. When I look back on how I chose investors, it never occurred to me that could even be a consideration that I have to be looking at the way men talk to me or treat me. Not just, are they ready to write a check? I would say that when you’re looking to raise money in business, it’s not a one-way street. It’s not just about the investors interviewing you to see if they want to invest in you. I think it’s really important that the young entrepreneurs of today recognize that it is a two-way street, that you’re dating them just as much as they’re dating you to see, are they the right investor for me? The truth is, you’re going to spend a lot of time with your investors, especially the bigger ones. You’re basically putting your vision into the hands of others. If you don’t share those energetic core values in some way or in fundamental ways, it could compromise your vision. I’ve seen way too many of my friends, back in the day, sell their companies and stay on with big corporations because they dangled the money in front of them, and that’s sort of like, “Oops, yikes.” They watch companies unravel their business vision because they didn’t share those values. This is changing as the world is evolving, for sure. A lot of things I’m speaking to, but I would still say that it is really imperative that every person that you bring into your company, and Horst always taught me, the founder of Aveda, that you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. On every level, your employees, your investors, just be discerning, and that’s something, I think, that you’re very naïve about because you’re so excited about people wanting to join you when you’re younger. But one bad weak link can actually bring the whole thing down.
Alejandro: That’s very profound, Marci. For the people that are listening, what is the best way for them to reach out and say hi?
Marci Zaroff: On Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, I’m @marcizaroff, which is with an i, Marci. Marcizaroff.com is where you can order my book, or go to Amazon, QVC, Target.com, or all the normal book sellers and bookstores. Then, Ecofashioncorp.com is the landing page that under that, you can click over to visit MetaWear, YesAnd, Seed to Style, and Farm to Home. I would say @yesand, which is our Instagram and our D to C brand and join YesAnd.com. Check it out because now it’s time we can live the change, eat the change, drink the change, be the change, and wear the change that we all wish to see in the world.
Alejandro: Amazing. Marci, thank you so much for being on the DealMakers show today.
Marci Zaroff: Thank you so much for having me.
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